Halloween is inarguably the best celebration of the year. New Year's Eve is fine, but wrapped within the year-end partying is the knowledge of things left undone and the obligatory attempt toward improvement via resolutions — or the acceptance that this is as good as you're going to get and all that the realization implies.
Halloween has its complexities, sure: death, dismemberment, sex, the creepier sides of our collective and individual psyches. Things that scare us. Happenings we can't explain. But we get to revel in the darkness, disguise ourselves — and our choice of costume reveals something we might not normally show the outside world. Because if you walked around dressed as a sexy corn-on-the-cob any other day, well, people would judge. But this Friday, go for it.
Get your dead on early
Or this Thursday! Quick reminder from last week: KSLG brings you Halloween a day early with a double-dose Halloween Costume Contest and Zombie Ball Concert featuring catchy alt-rockers Finish Ticket and Picture Atlantic at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. There are two separate shows: The first is a booze-free all-ages set at 7 p.m., the second is 21-and-over with the usual alcohol options starting at 10 p.m. Tickets for either show are $10 advance via Brown Paper Tickets — be sure to select which show you'd like to attend from the dropdown menu.
For Halloween proper, let's start with Blondie's, a very cool place dedicated to providing space for people of all ages to enjoy live music. (Those over 21: beer.) For Halloween, Blondie's hosts a costume contest, plus live music by "Creep-bread" Kelly, Count Chocula & The Cereal Killers, Beats & Kale, The Mother Vines and SpaceheaD. The party kicks in around 7 p.m. and is free.
Moving up the age bracket, over in E-town, the Siren's Song hosts The Haunt, natch, with Wrye (underground techno/future disco), DAT-1 (breakbeat, soulstep, heavy mental) and Kwovadus, plus exotic dancing with Jenni Nexus. This is an 18-and-over show, free, and starts at 9 p.m.
Halloween: A-town, where ghouls just want to have fun
KMUD not only admirably fulfills its function as "Redwood Community Radio," but is also responsible for a sure-to-be-epic hip-hop Halloween at the Portuguese Hall featuring Talib Kweli, Lyrics Born, Kelley Mak, Pressure Anya, Nico Is, Wu Wei, Dirt Bag, Samba Da Alegria, Ephniko, Flying Tree, DJ Snowflake and more. The night is hosted by Savage Henry's Sonny Wong. Likely to sell out — tickets in advance via Wildberries orwww.inticketing.com. Cost is $35 and the show is 21-and-over.
The Arcata Playhouse folks invite you to spend Halloween dancing to the hot jazz of The Latin Peppers plus Southern Humboldt's Planet Four. Unsure of your moves? No problem — the night comes with dance lessons via Diane Weiss.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general and $13 students and members, $10 with a costume and available at Wildberries, www.brownpapertickets.com or at 822-1575.
Speaking of dancing, Oct. 31 marks not only All Hallow's Eve, but the third annual Soul Fright Halloween Party and the three-year anniversary of Soul Night's existence. Tickets are $5, recommended in advance, and this party is 21-and-over. When choosing your costume, remember: You will sweat; attire accordingly.
At the Arcata Theatre Lounge, bass-heavy electronic beats fill the fabulously cavernous venue with Bump In The Night: The 4th Annual World Famous Halloween Festivus featuring Two Fresh, Lindsay Lowend, Nevermind and Danny Corn. Doors open at 9:30 p.m., happy hour prices on food and beverage until 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 through worldfamousparty.com, $25 at the ATL and usual outlets. The show is 21-and-over.
Halloween: McKinleykilling it
Moving up to Macktown, Six Rivers Brewery's 11th annual Halloween Dungeon Ball includes a costume contest and music by Cliff Dallas & the Death Valley Troubadours. The ball begins at 9 p.m., costs $5 and is 21-and-over.
Saturday: The afterlife
Assuming you survive the night, celebrate your status among the living with The Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir's joyful music at the annual harvest concert on Saturday at 7 p.m. The concert takes place at the Arcata Presbyterian Church. Dee Hemingway opens. Suggested donation for the Harvest Concert is $15 general, $12 seniors/students. Children under 5 get in for free. Tickets are available at the usual outlets and at the door.
Another fine choice awaits at the Arcata Playhouse, in the form or the T Sisters, and Americana trio specializing in folk, gospel, bluegrass and soul-flavored harmonies, inventive arrangements and a surfeit of sass. Think the Andrews Sisters and the Ronettes, the Roches and the Dixie Chicks. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 general and $13 students and members, and are available at Wildberries, www.brownpapertickets.com or 822-1575.
Monday: Wayward Willoughby returns
You may not be familiar with Radical Mycology — all the better reason to attend this gig where two members of the noted movement and social philosophy will show their musical sides at the Siren's Song Tavern. Portland's Peter McCoy brings his philosophical, experimental hip-hop project Dead Language to Humboldt County for the first time, while favorite son Willoughby Arevalo, a Humboldt County local who recently relocated to Vancouver, BC, presents two offerings, as the first as Versionary, bringing back a piece that debuted in Eureka two years ago, called "The Sex Life of Mushrooms." It is a solo performance-lecture incorporating music and spoken word, a juicy, in-depth, innuendo-laden personification of the life cycle of mushrooms. It addresses ideas about gender politics, mating types, mate-sensing molecules, evolutionary advantages of sexual diversity, mushrooms as fertility symbols, fungal ecology and more. To close out the evening, Arevalo reunites with the bombastic, improvisational, dance-folk ensemble, Medicine Baul. The show costs $6 at the door, and all ages are welcome.
Wednesday: The angels answered!
After years of tracking Canadian singer Jane Siberry's U.S. appearances in anticipation of landing a performance in Humboldt County, the folks at the Arcata Playhouse's efforts have been rewarded — Siberry plays a solo show Wednesday, Nov. 5. Siberry is renowned as one of contemporary music's most creative and innovative artists with 11 major recordings, her own independent label, and the acclaim of fans and peers alike. Her songs have been covered by numerous artists, with particular success by k.d lang. You may recognize "Calling All Angels" from the Wim Wenders' film Until the End of the World, and again from Pay It Forward, Six Feet Under, Deadwood and more.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m., the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 general and $25 students and members and are available at the usual outlets.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to email@example.com.